Appeal launched to raise cash for school’s books

BY TOBY PORTER
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

Britain’s greatest writer, William Shakespeare, showed how much he valued books in his last play, The Tempest.

The forlorn sorcerer Prospero, marooned on an island, talks of his library wistfully.

“Knowing I lov’d my books, he furnish’d me from mine own library with volumes that I prize above my dukedom,” he said.

Two of Britain’s greatest actors, Prunella Scales and Timothy West, gave pupils a flavour of the value of reading last week.

The couple helped pupils launch an appeal for £15,000 worth of books for their new library. St John the Baptist Primary School in  Beachborough Road, Downham is reaching out to all its ex-pupils and friends.

The Alfred and Peggy Harvey Charitable has provided the school with funds to build its first library – but the budget does not include cash to replace its very old stock of books.

The staff and families at the school hope to raise at least £15,000 to fully stock the new library with beautiful books through a Just Giving webpage.

A £10 donation will pay for a new book with a book plate inside acknowledging the donor.

A £20 donation will pay for two books and an invite to the launch celebration.

A donation of £30 will fund three books and the donor will get an invite to the launch and receive a free copy of the school’s poetry book. A £50 donation will mean you also get your donation acknowledged in the school poetry book and on the school’s website.

For £500, individuals and companies will be able to sponsor a “shelf” which will have a brass plaque acknowledging the sponsor.

Scales and West, who have been married for 55 years, delighted the children with readings from Shakespeare and a range of children’s literature.

The children responded by reciting the works of Edward Lear and Walter de la Mare.

Local MP, Heidi Alexander, also shared a passage from Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.

The Dean of Southwark Cathedral, the Reverend Andrew Nunn, shared a published story about Dawkins, the cat that lives in the cathedral.

Headteacher John Goodey said: “We want to reach out to our past pupils and families. I am sure there are many that would like to give something back that would really make a difference.”


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